Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Bruce Young

Advisor Role

Thesis Committee Member

Second Advisor

L. Graham Smith

Advisor Role

Thesis Committee Member

Third Advisor

Kenneth Hewitt

Advisor Role

Thesis Committee Member


The natural resources of the Niagara Region of Ontario have played an important role in the success of the tourist industry in the region. The Niagara Region has been developed on an industrial and agricultural base since the nineteenth century. Due to conflicting demands of the manufacturing, agricultural and tourism industries for aesthetic, recreational and waste disposal purposes, the physical environment has deteriorated. The research problem of this thesis is to determine the extent of the effect of this deteriorated environment upon the tourist industry in the Niagara Region.

Physical inventories of resources are not adequate in terms of evaluating tourist satisfaction with destinations, therefore the effects of pollution were measured through a survey of tourist perceptions of environmental quality and a second survey of the perceptions of decision-makers in Niagara. The results of these questionnaires were compared to the perceptions of local residents concerning environmental quality. An inventory of tourism resources in the Niagara Region completed the evaluation process.

The results indicate that although tourists are very aware of pollution in the Niagara Region, tourist concern for the problem is much less than residential concern. This is due to the fact that tourists are motivated to travel to the region to view the natural features as opposed to coming into contact with them. The results therefore indicate that tourists will continue to travel to Niagara despite their environmental perception of the area. However, chronic tourist industry problems such as short length of stay and seasonal employment, can not be solved unless tourist perceptions of the environment are improved, and tourism markets are expanded.

Convocation Year